Summary: When it comes to the area of tithing, the issue often boils down to faith in God’s promises versus unbelief in His promises. This sermon, sermon 2 in the Prove God Stewardship Series, helps us trust God and step out by faith in the area of giving.
Faith Versus Unbelief
Series: Prove God Stewardship Series, Sermon #2 of 3)
January 19, 2014
A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available by emailing a request to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also available is a copy of the 100% Money Back Guarantee commitment referenced in the sermon.
TEXT: Please turn in your Bibles to Numbers 13.
Numbers 13-14 records the story of the Israelites as they finally came to the land of promise. At its border, Moses sent in 12 spies to reconnoiter it and bring back specimens of the country’s agriculture and give a general report of what they were up against. The twelve spies carried out their mission and returned after 40 days.
Let’s pick up the narrative at verses 26-33: And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. 27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. 30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:26-33)
There’s a popular kids song based on this story with cute hand movements (SING AND SIGN)
Twelve men went to spy in Canaan, Ten were bad and two were good.
What do you think they saw in Canaan, Ten were bad and two were good.
Some saw giants big and tall, Some saw grapes of Eschol fall.
Some saw God was in it all—Ten were bad and two were good.
This story is a symbolic picture of faith versus unbelief. Faith is the most important Christian virtue for a person to possess.
• First of all—it is the entrance to eternal life itself – Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
• But it’s also the key way for a believer to please God – Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
So in the Christian life, we need to be a people of faith—and nothing is more important to understand when it comes to giving God a tithe of our income.
We are in week 2 of our Stewardship series, and last week we examined the concept of Christian stewardship of the resources God has given us (sermon title: French Fries and Interior Decorating). We saw that two key reasons Christians fail to be good stewards in giving the tithe is not understanding God’s OWNERSHIP of all we have and not surrendering to God’s LORDSHIP of how His assets are to be allocated.
Today we want to examine the third barrier to obedience in giving the tithe: UNBELIEF. Many believers find it hard to REALLY believe that God will take better care of them if they tithe than if they don’t, despite many verses that promise this in the Bible. When a believer who has tithed for many years stands up and testifies, “God took better care of me on 90% after I started tithing then He ever did when I lived on 100%” some believers scratch their heads in puzzlement and find it really HARD to believe. Their problem is a matter of UNBELIEF in God’s promises.
This morning I would like to look at four characteristics of faith and unbelief in Numbers 13-14 and apply them to the matter of the tithe.